ID-10046985Remember those social studies classes back in the day when your teacher first talked about one person having multiple roles?  A woman could be a sister, daughter, mother, friend, athlete, community advocate, manager, colleague, advisor, entrepreneur, and more.  What a concept to a 10 year old.


As modern adults, most of us play at least that many roles now and most use our technology devices, smart phones, notepads, computers, and others, to help manage it all.  Twenty–four hours a day, 7 days a week, we can access the calendar noting Aunt Judy’s birthday, the address for her card, the weather report for our weekend destination, recommended restaurants in said locale, directions to our next meeting, and the score of the high school rugby match we missed because of the meeting.


Despite coming late to the party; I was still using whiteout and a typewriter on final drafts in college; I have become both beneficiary and victim of the digital age.  I have developed habits Digital Diet Guy warns about.  My phone “knows no boundaries.”  I’m addicted to it.


I recently downloaded iOS 7 for my iPhone.  The first day, there were a few important functions I could figure out, like how to manually close apps to preserve my battery charge.  Finally, with the help of my digital daughter, I managed it.


But the experience got me thinking about the concept; about how applications left running in the background of your digital device can drain the life from your battery, even when you’re not using them or conscious of them.  It occurred to me, my crazy-busy, fabulous life is like that.


Like the subjects of those long ago social studies, and like all the entrepreneurs (hopefully) reading this, I play many, many roles in my daily life.  And technology has made it possible for me to blend many of them together.  I can work from home and also take care of family issues from work.  In many ways, it’s helped me manage all my roles more efficiently (beneficiary).


But, because work is now prevalent in my home life and family is available during work hours, technology has simultaneously adding to my obligations and created difficulties with focus and time management (victim).  It often seems like all my “apps,” sister, daughter, mother, friend, athlete, community advocate, manager, colleague, advisor, entrepreneur and more, are “open” all the time.  Thus, even when I’m not actively using them, they’re draining my battery, leaving less and less energy for the moment I’m in.


Do you share this struggle? 

Share your ideas for how to turn off your apps and preserve mental energy.

image courtesy of Ambro /